Worker killed during move of drilling rig at Cenovus Christina Lake tarsands site; Cenovus investigating itself. Will Cenovus find itself guilty if Cenovus is to blame?

Cenovus continues some layoffs following worker’s death by Bill Kaufmann, February 9, 2018, Calgary Herald

Already reeling from a series of job losses, Cenovus employees say a decision to reverse a delay in some layoffs following a workplace death comes as another blow to morale at the energy giant.

In an internal online message sent to staff Wednesday, Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix said some layoffs announced in December would be postponed in light of a fatality Tuesday at the company’s Christina Lake oilsands site.

The death of the third-party contractor occurred in a mishap involving a hauling truck and drilling rig at the location about 350 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

“Out of respect, all staff reductions planned for the rest of this week are postponed until further notice,” wrote Pourbaix, adding the company’s thoughts are with the worker’s family and friends and colleagues.

“It hits all of us hard hearing that someone did not go home safely from one of our sites … . I recognize there is a lot of change at the company right now that is causing additional stress.”

He went on to urge staff to use company counselling resources if necessary.

But on Thursday, a company email said at least four layoffs in the company’s finance department would go ahead this week anyway.

“I realize Alex’s message yesterday about the Christina Lake fatality referencing staff reductions planned for this week being postponed, however, it was felt it was important to make these changes now as opposed to waiting any longer,” wrote senior vice-president and comptroller Neil Robertson. [Cenovus, nasty, just like its parent Encana]

It’s a move considered disrespectful to the oilsands worker killed and demoralizing to employees already being whip-sawed by a battery of layoff announcements, said one Cenovus staffer.

“It was a shocker, especially after the CEO put out that message, nobody was expecting it,” said the employee, who wouldn’t give a name out of fear of being let go.

“There are people here pretty angry and upset … . If you make that message, you stick to it.”

Following the oil price plunge in 2014, the company laid off nearly 2,000 employees in 2015-16, while the latest round, expected to reduce the payroll by 15 per cent, will see 500 to 700 jobs axed.

Cenovus spokesman Brett Harris wouldn’t comment on the layoff about-face.

“It’s all internal stuff, it’s not stuff we’d comment on,” he said. “We’d planned this process that’s started in the new year and it’s ongoing — it’s never easy to let people go and the people leaving the company are all good people.”

But he said a larger number of layoffs planned for this week remain postponed, as Pourbaix’s memo suggested.

He said the current round of layoffs should be mostly complete by the end of March.

It’s part of the company’s plans unveiled in December for lower-than-expected capital spending for 2018, amid the departure of three top executives.

Cenovus said it’s investigating the cause of the Christina Lake fatality. [Emphasis added]

Worker killed at Cenovus Christina Lake oilsands site by Edmonton Journal, February 7, 2018

A worker at Cenovus Energy’s Christina Lake oilsands site in northern Alberta was killed Tuesday night.

The incident at 10:20 p.m. involved a hauling truck and happened as a drilling rig was being moved at the site, the company said in a release.

The name and the age of the worker is not being publicly released at this time.

The site is located about 350 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

Cenovus has notified the appropriate authorities and is conducting a full investigation into the cause of the incident. [Why is Cenovus doing the investigation? Will Cenovus find itself guilty, if Cenovus is to blame for the fatality? Emphasis added]

Worker killed at Cenovus Energy site in northern Alberta by Emily Mertz, Global News with file from The Canadian Press, February 7, 2018

Cenovus Energy Inc. said a workplace fatality occurred at the company’s Christina Lake oilsands site, which is about 350 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

It happened Tuesday at about 10:20 p.m., the oil company said.

Details of what happened weren’t released, but Cenovus said it involved a hauling truck and the incident occurred “as a drilling rig was moved at the site.”

The name of the worker — who was employed by one of Cenovus’ third-party contractors — has not been released.

Cenovus said it was “deeply saddened” by the death and it has notified the appropriate authorities.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the worker’s family, friends and co-workers,” Cenovus said in a statement.

The company is investigating the incident as well as federal Occupational Health and Safety officers.

Brett Harris, a Cenovus spokesman, says the drill rig site has been shut down for an investigation.

[Refer also to:

2018 01 25: Subsidiary of Chinese state-owned CNOOC Ltd. charged for explosion that killed 2 workers in Alberta in 2016; Nexen (blamed the workers) facing 8 charges under Occupational Health & Safety Act. How many charges will the court order as “donations” to enabling NGOs, propaganda group “Insider Education,” an arena, frac research, etc? Or will all the charges be dropped to keep China happy?

2017 12 14: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Will Encana Spawn’s Greed Kill Your Frac Job or Kill your Husband/Father/Son? Cutting Workers to Fatten Investors, Making Workers Wonder over the Holidays. Nasty, in True Encana/Cenovus Form

2017 02 17: Cenovus (split from Encana after Ernst lawsuit papers served on the company) continues hoarding with $3.7B cash

2015 10 08: Who believes what Cenovus or Encana say? And, just how cruel are those companies to their workers? Encana offspring Cenovus apologizes: a lot too little, too late

2012 12 01: Environment minister turns down Cenovus [split from Encana] Energy project over wildlife risk, EnCana Makes First Court Appearance after Being Charged with Violating Canada Wildlife Act ]

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